Braised celery with herbed vinaigrette

Remove the outer stalks from a whole celery – don’t remove the base – and cut it in half. Trim the top end of the celery to make the hearts long enough to fit snugly in a baking tray, then tuck the trimmings in as well. Dot with butter, season with salt and pepper, then pour over enough chicken stock to half fill the tray, cover with foil, and bake in a 100C oven for about four hours.

In a salad bowl, mix together finely chopped herbs (I used basil but just about any soft herb would work well, especially dill or parsley), two cloves of finely chopped garlic, and about a tbsp of salted capers. Add a glug of white wine vinegar, and two glugs or so of good olive oil, then whisk together.

Remove the braised celery from the braising liquid (keep this and use it for something as the infusion of the celery into the chicken stock will make it even better than it was before…), chop it into bite size lengths, and toss with the dressing in the bowl. Top with dukkah or crushed nuts (e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts); this serves mainly as a textural component, but also adds flavour.